Dog Dream
A little boy and his father climb the hill on twelfth. Beneath drooping tree branches draping the walk, they toss a ball back and forth. The boy drops it often, but he doesn't mind. The ball bounces high. They laugh as they try to catch it off its peculiar bounce. They ignore me as I rush past. A black man in tattered grey clothes stumbles toward me. I slow down. He looks at me. His eyes meet mine. I look down. He pounds his fists as he weeps. I smell him as I brush past. He grunts something meant for me, but I don't respond. I step high over a crack in the walk. He makes a loud noise. I lope a step or two. A couple turning onto twelfth from seventh are holding hands. They look happy.

I look down. Drops dapple the keyboard. Funny. I type faster. Something's making me weep, something and familiar. I don't want to know, though I do. I type faster, making mistakes. I don't correct them. A small Hispanic boy walks his dog; Big merriment. The dog wags its tail. The boy laughs.

I grit my teeth. "What's so frikkin sad?" I rasp. They both look at me. I'm filled with rage.

The little boy says, "Hi, Mister." I smile and begin to cry.

Everything's going too slow. Too wet. My fingers slip. I can't get around them fast enough, the words out fast enough. They see me cry, the words, the boy and his dog. I know. It makes me ashamed.

"Of what?"

"Ridiculous," I decide. I walk even faster, type even faster...almost running, like a super secretary, Olympic sprinter. Couples are everywhere, smiling, kissing, nuzzling. A hundred words a minute. Striding sidewalks in a blur. Words are bullets. Legs are pumping. Fingers digging flesh, mind, soul, tear-rutted keyboard, God sprinter, hands designing hands, the way they move, conduct the Ninth, Last Movement.

"...Something ugly this way comes."

Something living, dying, killing, incorruptable, eminently corrupt, computable, collides my earth, and I'm revealed, exposed. Some old pustule. Lanced. I can't move fast enough. Legs, pus, tears, fingers swirling in the vat. Everyone sees me. God blinks. I escape his glance. The document's on display in the town center, kiosk made of fiber, cabled to the world, my words are not my own.

On the screen. They belong to the internet...Bill Gates. I'm his little girl.

On a Brooklyn sidewalk dress flys up, muscle is seen, flexing, eating its meal. Slobbering. Insatiable. I close my eyes, and a Cop's night stick plunges through a snarling, sweating mouth.

Whiteout! The whole thing stops, shits on itself. Hands cramp. Legs are putty. Stinging eyes guddle swaths of heat. Face is wet. Afraid of shorting out the keyboard, I move back. With a sip of coffee and cig, I put my angst through caffeinated smoke and watch it fade like a bad dream.

"It's better that way, don't you think?"

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Short Story
writing philermon
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